So i got asked two questions via email which i thought i would answer on here as it might be of interest to others.
What is my opinion on recovery accounts (specifically Instagram and Tumblr) ?
Well my opinion is varied. I personally think blogging is great, and blogging did help me during my recovery. It was a way for me to express myself, right out my thoughts and eventually to keep myself accountable for the choices i made. And also i didnt want to let my readers down, so that was positive. I use both IG and Tumblr daily, though i am definitely not scrolling through the recovery accounts, but i know that there are MANY. Its crazy how many accounts that when i click on it says in their bio "recovering from x or y".
What is my opinion on those types of accounts, it is very mixed. I think that it can be a positive thing if it helps you and you can connect with people who motivate and inspire you, who are helping you to recover. It can also be inspiring to see others make steps forward in recovery.... but then there is also the fact that you can become addicted and define yourself as the person "in recovery". Who are you if you arent recovering, who are you if you arent the person with the eating disorder. But also if all you see everyday on social media is peoples struggles in recovery, reading lots of negativity or seeing lots of small portions it can definitely hold you back, as there is alot of competition and comparing when you have an eating disorder. You might see someone who posts pictures of very small meals and seems to do lots of exercise and you wonder, how are they recovering when you have to eat double or tripple as much and no exercise. There are people in the recovery "communities" online who arent very honest. They say they ate a meal or are in recovery, but they didnt eat their meal and they arent trying very hard at actually recovering.
Then there is also the fact - you can call me hypocritical i guess - i personally find that the accounts which post all their meals are still very obsessed with their food. If it makes you eat all your meals and it is doing something positive for you, then fine.... just dont let it become an addiction or something controlling. I mean you dont have to photo all your meals..... And yes, i do take photos of some of my meals and post them online, but i dont do it to all my meals. 1 or 2, max 3 per day when i can eat around 6-7 meals per day. And i have been asked to show a full day worth of eating through photos, but i just dont see the point of it? Who has time or energy to take a picture of everything they eat?
With recovery accounts, remember that not everything is real and people arent always honest. If you find that you can find inspirational accounts to follow and ones who influence you positively and you find that your account helps you, then sure... go for it. Just dont become addicted to the account and dont get addicted to the term "recovery" either, you need to be able to let go and be healthy!
This is my opinion anyway, some might think the recovery online community is awful and shouldnt exist (though that is my opinion about the thinspo and people who post very triggering stuff online. I think those shouldnt exist.) Whilst others might think the recovery accounts online are the best and helpful in all ways.
Feel free to share your opinion :)
And second question, what is my opinion on Questbars, Calorie free sauces and calorie free noodles being marketed towards those with eating disorders. Or causing eating disorders?
If you have read my blog for a long time you will know that i have eaten all of these3 things. I love questbars, however they are personally a little too expensive for my own economy but also they dont fill me up... i need to eat 3 to fill me up and that is 1) expensive, 2) not good for my kidneys with 60g protein and once and 3) i would prefer to eat real food to get those 600kcal in.
And yes, i have eaten calorie free sauces and some are ok, such as the Waldens free creamer (though i would recommend wisping your own milk or soy milk and adding some stevia drops instead. Much cheaper and works just as well)
and 3, i actually like calorie free noodles (and i am part of the minority who does!!). However they are expensive and have no nutritional value so kind of pointless to eat? So if i get them free i will eat them, but i wont personally spend my money on them as they have no health benefits or nutritional value.
But to answer the question..... There is definitely a hype around questbars in the recovery community. Iit is seen as a bit of a "trend" and that seems to be the only snack some accounts post..... And no, i dont think a questbar is enough of a snack... maybe for a morning snack, or as a dessert but not enough just as it is. I dont really know what to write, but i personally think that if you enjoy questbars... eat them, but you also need to eat more. A questbar is very procressed and you know what, it is much better to eat a banana and 2 eggs instead of a questbar or to eat some bread with butter and cheese or some greek yoghurt with nuts and muslie. So much better for you instead of just a bar. They are good for on the go, but remember that there is more food than just "low carb, high protein bars".
And when it comes to calorie free sauces and calorie free noodles.... remember that food is eaten for energy, nutrition, vitamins and minerals and 2) because it is delicious. But the reason we eat is so that our body can get the right energy and vitamins it needs each day.... eating things with little nutritional value is kind of pointless, and even more pointless if you are someone who needs a high calorie intake. Ii mean if you need to gain weight.. then choose the full fat products and some of your favourite pasta or noodles, not the 0 kcal stuff... how is that helping you?
If you want these types of products in your diet just as an extra because maybe you think they taste good, then sure... but they should not be the main thing in your diet or replacing other, better options in your intake. I.e they shouldnt be the base of your diet. Your body needs its macronutrients and micronutrients daily and if you are eating things with very little nutrition or very little energy, vitamins or minerals then you arent helping your body.
I dont know whether they are being marketed towards people with recovery - i dont think that is allowed? But i think because they are 0 kcal or low carb, high protein, those with eating disorders radiate towards them. And i have had many people write to me and say they were addicted to these types of products and eating them just because they were low kcal even though they didnt like the taste of them... ive actually had a reader send me questbars because they bought a box and didnt like them XD I think it is up to each person to make their choices about what they choose to eat, and i dont think someone is disordered just because they eat some of these products, but if these types of products are all they eat then it might be disordered behaviour and thoughts involved.
And lets also remember, these items are products. not ingredients. They contain lots of weird ingredients... i mean food has kcal and energy, so ask yourself.... "what the hell am i eating if it has no kcal? What has been done and what things am i consuming (i.e lots of chemicals) if it has barely any calories?".